Excellence in Education

Our club fosters excellence in education in our community by recognizing and honoring outstanding teachers and students and by identifying an outstanding educator to receive the Merrill Hawkins Excellence in Education Award each year.

Teacher and Student Recognition

During each month of the school year, the Excellence in Education Committee contacts a local school to determine a Teacher of the Month and two Students of the Month. The teacher selects one boy and one girl to be honored by the club.

The teacher and spouse, the students and their parents and the principal are invited to a club meeting to be recognized for their achievements. The teacher is introduced by a committee member and presented with a certificate and a gift card for school supplies. The teacher introduces the students and explains the reasons for their selections. A committee member presents each student with a certificate and a bookmark with Rotary’s Four-Way Test.

Merrill Hawkins Excellence in Education Award Committee

The Merrill Hawkins award was established by the Starkville Rotary Club to honor an outstanding teacher each year. The award is to be presented to an active teacher in a school within Oktibbeha County whose technique, dedication, and expertise has brought distinction to their classroom accomplishments.

The award was named for Dr. Merrill Hawkins, a former Rotary District 6820 governor and dean of the College of Education at Mississippi State University. In addition to recognition and presentation of a plaque, the Starkville Rotary Club will provide a $1,000 grant to support the educational program of the recipient.

Award criteria are:

  • Certified classroom teacher with a minimum of three consecutive years in his or her current school
  • Demonstrated expertise in the subject matter being taught
  • Recognized teaching skills and fulfillment of professional responsibilities
  • Respected by colleagues, parents, and the public
  • Reputation for being concerned about individual students.

Nominations must address the criteria and must be received by the Starkville Rotary Club by May 15, 2009. Nominations can be submitted by any member of the community. The Merrill Hawkins Excellence in Education Award Committee listed below will review nominations and make the selection.